RELEASE: 00-176

Research contributing to better materials on Earth and seeking
resources in space to fuel future exploration will be featured at NASA’s
Microgravity Materials Science Conference in the North Hall of the Von Braun
Center in Huntsville, Ala., June 6-8.

For three days, experts from across the nation will discuss current
hot topics in their fields — such as nanotechnology and biomaterials.
Media can hear about the latest research findings reported by hundreds of
investigators from NASA, universities and industry.

The conference is hosted by Marshall Space Flight Center in
Huntsville — NASA’s Lead Center for Microgravity Research — and the
Microgravity Research Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Investigators funded by NASA’s Human Exploration and Development of
Space Enterprise will participate in a workshop to discuss taking advantage
of materials on the Moon and Mars to advance space exploration — called
in-situ resource utilization. This research focuses on “living off the
land” by using lunar or Martian soil to build habitats, produce fuel, water
and propellant. On the last day of the conference, the group will report its

A preliminary schedule and speaker description follows. For the most
up-to-date information, media should consult the conference Web site at:

To arrange interviews or attendance at the conference, media should
contact Steve Roy of the Marshall Media Relations Department at (256)

Preliminary Conference Schedule and Speaker Information
Tuesday, June 6

* 8:40 a.m.- Welcome: Art Stephenson, Marshall Center Director

* 8:45 a.m. – Overview of Microgravity Program: Dr. Arnauld
Nicogossian, associate administrator for Life and Microgravity Sciences, and
other NASA officials and scientists

* 10:45 a.m. – Nanomaterials for NASA Missions: Dr. Meyya Meyyappan,
project manager and senior scientist for NASA’s Nanotechnology Program at
Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. Nanotechnology — manipulation
of materials on the atomic and molecular scale to build microscopic devices
smaller than human cells — is predicted to revolutionize vaccines,
computers, automobiles and rocket ships — to cite just a few examples.

* 1:15 – 3:30 p.m. Technical Sessions: Sessions on NASA-funded
research in electronic materials, biomaterials, metals and alloys,
microporous materials, and glasses.

Wednesday, June 7

* 8:30 a.m. – Materials for Radiation Protection: Dr. Jim Adams, a
Marshall Center astrophysicist with 20 years of experience studying the
effects of cosmic ray radiation on microelectronics, will discuss new
materials that can be used to protect humans and spacecraft from radiation.

* 9 a.m. – In-situ Resource Utilization: Dr. Gregg Maryniak, executive
director of the X PRIZE Foundation, St. Louis, Mo., sponsor of a $10 million
prize to spur creation of new launch vehicles for space tourism. He will
talk about using materials that exist in space for construction and fuel to
increase business activity in space.

* 10 a.m. – noon – Technical Sessions: Electronic materials, polymers
and metals

* 1- 3:30 p.m. – Technical Sessions: Nanomaterials, colloids,
dendrites, radiation materials and crystal growth

* 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Poster Sessions: Technical presentations in
exhibit area

* 6 p.m. – Future of Space Transportation: Banquet speaker: Dennis
Smith, deputy manager, Marshall Center Space Transportation Directorate.

Thursday, June 8

* 8:05 a.m. – Biomaterials: Dr. Michael Jaffe, director of the Medical
Device Concept Laboratory for the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials in
Newark, N.J., on the future of biomaterials for producing new medical tools.

* 8:50 a.m. – In-situ Resource Utilization Workshop Report: Dr. Peter
Curreri, a materials scientist at the Marshall Center, will report on the
workshop findings.

* 9:50 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Technical Sessions: Metals, alloys and

– 30 –


Steve Roy

Media Relations


(256) 544-0034



The Web

News release

Microgravity Research Program

Microgravity Materials Science Conference Schedule and